Testicular cancer radiation therapy makes use of high intensity x-rays or various other kinds of radiation for destroying the cancer cells present in the testicles of men. Normally, testicular cancer radiation therapy is given to the patients who have already undergone surgery. This is done to prevent the recurrence of testicular cancer in them. Sometimes testicular cancer radiation therapy might also be given to patients who are suffering from recurrence testicular cancer.
The kind of radiation used for treating testicular cancer is known as external beam radiation which is produced form machines containing beams of high energy. This high energy beam is normally aimed toward the lymph nodes present in the pelvic or abdominal region. Testicular cancer radiation therapy dosage and the number of sittings would greatly depend on the stage of the disease and kind of testicular cancer. Most often testicular cancer radiation therapy is given to patients in their advanced stages of cancer.
Patients who have undergone testicular cancer radiation therapy tend to feel a bit tired and weak. Some might experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These after effects of the radiation therapy treatments are temporary ones but some might even experience for a longer period of time. Long side effects can include even incidence of heart disease, infertility and even another cancer. Doctors or physicians suggest radiation therapy only for men who might not undergo chemotherapy and for elderly men who do not have any other choice.
Out of the two types of testicular cancer seminoma types are found to respond well to radiation therapy than non seminoma cancer types. The red blood cells are the most affected by radiation therapy and hence it can lead to mild anemia. During radiation therapy the patients might not feel any discomfort. The patients are asked to lie on a cushioned table that is flat and the special x-ray beam would be directed on the affected region. The treatment is normally painless and spans to only few minutes. They can be very similar to the exposure to normal x-ray machines.
The treatment can be divided as smaller size doses spanning from ten to fifteen minutes time each. Normally the treatment is given only once and also as an outpatient. Nearly fifteen to twenty visits might be required depending on the extent and spread of the disease. Men who have undergone testicular cancer radiation therapy are asked to wait for a minimum of one year and then conceive. This is advised in order to reduce the risk of the disease getting genetically transmitted to the child.
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